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Old 04-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
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Question water heater problem

I'll throw this out there and see if anyone has a solution ?? I have an Atwood 6 Galllon Hot Water Heater. I dewinterized today and in the process flushed out the water lines. Afterwards, i decided to fill up the water heater and then fire up the gas option to make sure it works for dry camping this season. It runs off electricity and gas. The air shutter apparently was wide open, it ran loud and sputtered after it lit. I adjusted the air shutter and got it to run with a clean blue flame and everything seemed to be fine. After 15-20 minutes, it was still running. The water temp. inside was way too hot... i though it would have shut off by then, so i manually shut it off. Correct me if i'm wrong, if the water got too hot..... wouldn't the pressure relief valve opened ?? Also, on this unit would it just have shut off after reaching temperature ? And then fired back up when needed ? I'm assuming there is no pilot light that stays lit.
We only had this unit out once before winterizing last fall, and used electricity for the water heater as we had a full hookup. Anyone out there have any ideas ?? Thanks Jeff
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Some had a small lever on the back side of the temp control it's hard if not impossible to see but you can feel it if it's there move it to the left. That control is the same as a home heater and you can buy one at a big box store for a lot less then an RV place if you can't get the temp down.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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How hot was "too hot"? These water heaters, unlike home heaters, in gas mode want to heat the water up to 140F or so. Not good if you have small children using the water, but not so bad for adults who can understand and adjust to it.

It heats hotter so that the 6 gallons will go further by mixing it with cold water as you use it, especially for showers.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:04 AM   #4
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In the files area here on SOC, there are a number of files in the Sunline Coach Owner's Club - Sunline Owner's Files - Sunline Heating and Cooling section related to the Atwood Water Heaters. You may find this Sunline Coach Owner's Club - Sunline Owner's Files - Atwood Furnaces Troubleshooting to be most helpful in determining if there is a problem with the WH and how to remedy it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
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I think the high pressure release valve has a lever on it for doing a manual check for it being stuck. I'd pull that to release to make sure it opens and closes as it should. Then feel safer about letting it operate as it should or until the release valve pops off.

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Old 05-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies... i think i am going to fire it up again and check the temperature. Maybe i shut it down prematurely ??

Jeff
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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Okay , here goes another newbie (3 years and still learning) question. I have a 2007 T247sr and love it. We got it two years ago new, no one had bought it and we got it new from Dufours in Fitchburg, Ma.The problem I have however is with the water heater. Frankly it has been a bit of a problem from the start. It is an atwood 6 gallon thing. the problem is sometimes it starts right up when you go in and throw the gas switch other times you may have to do it multiple times. Recently I hit the switch and nothing happened. Tried it later and all was good. For additional info the previous week when my wife and I camped there were no problems.Any ideas? While we're at it, it doesn't seem as though the electric water heater works at all. Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Fiveaday, any gas appliance will take multiple attempts to light if the lines are empty. I like to light the stovetop first because I can see, and hear, what's happening. If the stovetop does not light on the first or second attempt, there is likely air in the lines. Keep clicking the igniter, or better yet, use a butane lighter, until it fires up. That will take most of the air out of the lines and give the other appliances, which have safety shutoffs, a better chance of lighting up within the allowed 3 attempts.

For the electric hwh, make sure you don't have a CSA trailer--not all of them made it to Canada. CSA trailers have an "extra" toggle switch in the kitchen that prevents the use of the microwave and hwh at the same time. The switch goes up for microwave, down for hwh, and middle for neither.

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Old 05-01-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Also on the electric side, have you checked the breaker to make sure it's on? If the breaker is on and the wall switch is on you should have hot water in about 20 min. If no hot water then most likely the heating element is burned out.

On the gas side, does this only happen after the trailer sits unused for awhile?
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 264SRinPA View Post
Also on the electric side, have you checked the breaker to make sure it's on? If the breaker is on and the wall switch is on you should have hot water in about 20 min. If no hot water then most likely the heating element is burned out.
Mike, on mine, there is also a little rocker switch up on the top of the electric box on the back side of the heater. It is just visible to the left of the blue plastic connector where the white 110vac cable comes out of the top of the box. That switch has to be on for the 110vac heating element to work.

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Old 05-01-2011, 08:21 PM   #11
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Well Guys...... after letting it run for 40 minutes, it shut off by itself !! thanks for all the input...... we are looking forward to our first outing a week from wednesday.

Jeff
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB2004 View Post
Thanks for the replies... i think i am going to fire it up again and check the temperature. Maybe i shut it down prematurely ??

Jeff
Jeff, I think Steve's comment on the standard temp is the answer for you. I, too, was shocked to learn how hot these heaters get and for the reason Steve mentioned.

I suggest you invest in a digital probe thermometer. It is a multi-tasker. See what the temp actually is. And I bet the next time you use it will be after someone says, "The fridge doesn't feel cold enough," or, "Is the A/C cooling properly?" or, "Is this heating duct putting out cold air?"
And you know when the roast is done.

Saves a lot of wondering,
Teach
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:13 AM   #13
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Well Guys...... after letting it run for 40 minutes, it shut off by itself !! thanks for all the input...... we are looking forward to our first outing a week from wednesday.
Jeff,

Ours behaves pretty much the same way. Once the water is up to temp, the heater will fire up once in a while to keep it at temp. Probably won't run for more than 5 or 6 minutes each time.

Like Teach suggested, you may want to check the water temp just to be sure.

From the trouble-shooting manual: "The thermostat and ECO are pre-set surface-mounted discs. The thermostat is set at 140į F and is the same
thermostat used on the gas side of the electronic ignition water heaters. The ECO is a backup thermostat and will trip if the thermostat fails and the water temperature exceeds 170į F
."

When the water temp drops to 115F, the heater will fire up again.

Also, the pressure relief valve is actually a temperature-pressure relief valve. Triggers on 125/150 psi and/or 210 degrees F.

One other point, we had a small problem with our heater a few years ago. I discovered that the ECO was bad, preventing the heater from operating. It is a cheap part and an easy DIY repair. The thermostat is right next to the ECO and is almost identical in appearance. It is just as inexpensive and just as easy to replace.
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